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Old 10-26-2003, 10:28 PM
DrChop DrChop is offline
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Kustomsledd fuel tank, how I made it...

Thought some might find this of interest, I made a new gas tank for the '54 Kustomsledd project over the past few weeks, finished it up today. It's made of 16 Ga steel sheet, my local supplier sheared the pieces to size that I spec'd and made the 2 long bends with their large hydraulic press brake.

It all starts with a pattern...



The metal pieces I got from the steel shop. The bottom/front/back is up close, the top is sitting above it, and another 2 sheets for the ends and baffles...



Tank bottom/front/back, with ends welded on and baffles welded in place. The baffles started out as one large piece, there were 1" holes drilled along the scored line that makes up the bottom edges of each piece. This means when I cut thru the drilled holes to separate the bafles, each had half-rounds along the lower edge. These allow fuel to transfer slowly thru the tank, and not slosh.
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The filler neck/sender. Yes it's the Cavalier engine oil filler, with the stick removed...



The tank all done with the welding...



...and installed in the '54 trunk. Check out the mounts...




I tested it for leaks by applying a little shop air pressure to a Schrader valve, hose-clamped on the vent line, with the supply/return lines spliced shut with another length of hose. I then sprayed all the seams with a mix of Dawn soap and water in a spraybottle, then gave it a couple short bursts of air, just a bit to pressurize the tank. I found a few bubbles around the sender, and a couple more along a top seam, and MIG'ed those shut. I checked all the seams carefully twice, looking for the tiniest of bubbles, especially along the side and bottom welds, as those welds must hold back fluid gasoline, or risk dumping the tank contents on the driveway, or worse. As a precaution, I double-welded these seams, outside and inside.

If you do not trust your welding ability, practice on something else like a patch panel or some scrap steel, or do the fab work and tack it and take it to a decent welder for the seam work. These must be fluid/fume tight, this is NOT the project to learn Welding 101 on... Safety is the #1 priority with this kind of tank building, if you have doubts, have a pro weld the seams.

Just goes to show you CAN do this at home. Save some money, build your custom gas tank like I did...

Doc
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